OF SWORDS AND SORCERERS by Margaret Hodges

OF SWORDS AND SORCERERS

The Adventures of King Arthur and His Knights
Age Range: 10 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Based on manuscripts of the late storyteller Cecile Cox Offill, this condensed rehearsal of the Matter of Britain quickly takes readers from the dragon fight over Snowden to the death of Lancelot. With the exception of Percival's tale (``When he seated himself and began to move the white chessmen, the red men moved of themselves. Three times they checkmated him. It came to him then that only magic could defeat him in this way''), the tone is one of high seriousness, a record of cloven heads and other knightly deeds in the service of destiny and, occasionally, good. A few personal details aside (Mordred's ``foxy smile and gimlet eyes''), characters are stylized and remote, and the story is much simplified; Lancelot never touches Guinevere, and everyone goes after the Holy Grail without the authors explaining what it is. Still, this does preserve the flavor and major themes of the Arthurian Legend, with some modern additions--``Take comfort,'' says the dying king. ``Fear nothing. Trust in yourselves and do the best that you may.'' An accessible introduction for readers intimidated by Howard Pyle's collections, and a fresh inspiration for storytellers. Illustrations not seen. (Folklore. 10-12)

Pub Date: April 30th, 1993
ISBN: 0-684-19437-6
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Scribner
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1993




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